Understanding Electric Skateboard Motors | How to choose the best one?
You should try skateboarding if you haven’t already. But being a skateboarder is like joining a new family. Skateboarders have a standard etiquette, history, and vocabulary, creating the image of social elites.
Even if you’re not new to skating, you’ve probably noticed how some individuals glide uphill with such ease and a wide grin on their faces, or how others fly by you while you’re kicking hard to push through bumpy terrains.
Electric skateboards are tempting for high-speed riding in style since they allow you to pass by bikes and pedestrians as if they were stationary.
On the other hand, an electric skateboard is merely a skateboard with an electric motor and battery. They are getting increasingly popular and technologically complex, making it challenging to pick among the vast market possibilities.
The type of electric motor utilized determines the best electric skateboard for you.
However, most people aren’t worried about the motor or drive their electric skateboards to utilize.
What is the need?
You are probably not like ‘most people,’ and you are probably superior. That being said, if you believe such things aren’t necessary, you should rethink, because knowing about these motors and their pros and downsides will help you pick the best electric skateboard.
If you’re a severe skateboarder who likes to customize your boards, understanding these motors is essential. Because a proper makeover requires understanding how each component of your electric skateboard works.
Every motor manufacturer and motor stats Eskate manufacturer has a few specifications they like to toss around: sizes, kV, and watts.
The motor’s size is indicated by its four-digit model number. The engine in the photograph, for instance, is identified by the number 6384. In other words, it’s 63 millimeters wide and 84 millimeters long. This usually refers to the motor can’s outside size; however, it can cause slight deviations.
It’s logical to assume that a bigger can equal a more powerful engine. When determining how strong a motor is, consider things like the motor’s internal construction methods, magnet types and shapes employed, and how much space there is between the stator and can.
Asking the manufacturer for the size of the stator rather than the motor can give you a better indication of how powerful an engine is since that figure combined with the motor size does.
KV (key value) scores
When one volt is applied to a motor, the number of revolutions per minute (rpm) it produces is known as KV. This is what happens when the engine is left unloaded and allowed to spin freely. In other words, the greater the KV, the faster the motor will turn around. Thus, higher KV signifies more voltage, but it comes at the expense of less torque.
An electric skateboard’s outrunner motor’s KV rating typically ranges from 140 to 220 volts. On the other hand, Hub motors do not use pulleys or gear reductions to achieve their final speed and torque. As a result, the KV is often lower (80-100KV) to keep the torque the same.
A lower KV rating means more torque and a slower peak speed.
Lower torque, more incredible peak speed with a higher KV.
There is a voltage specification for every motor, which you may find in the motor’s manual. However, the motor’s voltage is unimportant for the most part because they often handle a wide range of voltage – ranging from 3s to 12s (4.8V-43.2V). (If you’re not familiar with battery specifications, see my in-depth guide on batteries.)
Motors with and without sensors
Sensor cables are included or not included with various motors.
Sensored motors provide the advantage of knowing exactly where the engine is at all times, resulting in a smoother start-up.
An uncensored motor will be jerky and require a kick push to ensure a smooth start when starting from a standstill.
Sensored motors are now standard equipment on nearly every manufacturing board that you can buy these days. A sensored motor is unnecessary, as well. If you don’t want to use the sensor cable, the motor will still function as an uncensored motor.
Regular electric skateboard riders are prone to lean one way and risk their necks for a specific electric motor or drive. So, you’re still uncertain about the most OK skateboard motors? First, let’s compare hub, belt, and direct drive motors.
Hub motors are present on the Aboard AE2 and the Onboard W1S. Many skaters prefer hub motors because of their inexpensive cost of parts and easy installation. In addition, they are quiet and hidden, which appeals to most people.
But they are not without flaws. They have a poor shock absorption system, reducing ride comfort. In addition, they have less braking and torque power for the same power input.
Furthermore, hub drive boards generally have a higher failure rate than belt drive boards, possibly due to increased exposure to heat and vibration than alternative drives, such as direct-drive motors.
Belt Driven Motor
A belt drive motor is the most frequent. Instead of wheel hub motors, they employ an externally mounted motor with a gear-like pulley and belt to create a gear reduction before powering the wheels.
These motors power the Onboard W2, Evolve, and Boosted, among others. However, most DIY e-board makers still utilize belt drives.
Unbiased minds have a few issues regarding belt drives, one being the amount of noise they generate. They also require frequent maintenance and have limited free-rolling capabilities.
Because of the pulleys, the belt drive motor is difficult to kick-push. It’s easy to understand why. However, replacing worn-out belts, belt alignment, and belt tensioning might be challenging for skateboarders who aren’t technically inclined or interested in how machines function.
Regardless, belt drives give higher torque than hub drives for the same price. They also allow whole longboard wheels to be utilized instead of thin PU sleeves. As a result, there are more wheels to choose from.
Belt drive options also allow for more imaginative setups with boosters and other tuning accessories.
Many people are curious about the direct drive train, yet many have misconceptions about it. For example, direct drives use an entire motor to drive a single wheel.
Hub and belt drive motors have all been marketed as direct drives in the past, despite how they function and what they are. However, a natural drive system is the only one available.
- Among the advantages of the Carvone direct drive are:
- First, they make swappable wheels easy.
- Second, they let you utilize complete urethane wheels.
- Third, unlike belt drives, they enable free rolling and are typically quieter.
While the direct-drive electric skateboard motor looks the best of the two, it has certain disadvantages. Direct drive motors are not insulated and are situated near the wheel. Because its engine isn’t protected, it has less ground clearance and is more prone to damage.
It usually requires a lot of truck customization and isn’t always suitable. Unlike hub motors, they employ an entire wheel of urethane. The steel axle is one of the key reasons they are so hefty.
Its 8mm axle, for example, was prone to breaking (the norm for hub motor and belt drive vehicles). The V4 drive uses a 12mm axle, which overcomes the snapping problem but adds a lot of weight to the system.
As a new and untested technology, the direct drive cannot be recommended for use. However, the Carvons are an excellent example of how they may reduce torque.
How To Pick the Best Motor?
Remember that there is no such thing as the most refined electric skateboard motor. Only the engines you need are accessible – torque, speed, stealth, censored, etc.
So, here’s a list of the most OK motors based on several parameters.
- Belt drives have the highest torque compared to direct drives and hub motors. Except for the Enertion Raptor 2, they also accelerate faster.
- Belt drives are adaptable since they are not restricted to wheel selection. You may use whatever longboard wheel you choose – soft, harsh, big, or little with belt drives. On the other hand, direct campaigns provide many advantages as belt drives but are less common.
- Direct drives are quieter than hub motors and belt drives. So an e-board with a direct engine may be the ideal alternative if you’re worried about the noise it makes when speeding through a crowd.
- Another factor to consider when choosing a motor is whether it is single or dual.
- Most models use twin motors unless you’re creating your own e-board, except Evolve’s Bamboo One.
Electric skateboarding is the new black, and it’s every skateboarder’s fantasy. They deliver the same skating feeling with less effort and better comfort than standard boards.
On a non-electric skateboard, the strong foot typically pushes against the ground. But, with the arrival of these new electric beauties, everything will change.
So, before you spend a lot of money on an electric skateboard and understand everything about it, consider the motor it utilizes. This is because it may influence your decision to buy an e-board.
These e-boards are driven by belt drives, hub motors, or direct drives. Which one you choose depends on your own tastes. You’ll need to determine your must-haves and must-not-haves before deciding which electric skateboard is ideal for you.
For example, suppose you want an electric skateboard with high torque and don’t want a noisy board. In that case, you may skip researching belt-driven and hub motor-driven skateboards.
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HARVEY C. DEEN
I am a skater and I love it. I have been skating since I was a little kid and it is my favorite thing to do. Skating is not just a hobby for me, it is my life. I have competed in skating competitions all over the world and have won many awards. I am also very involved in the skating community, coaching young skaters and helping to promote the sport.